When Prophet Mohammad (SAS) started preaching Islam in Makkah, his message consisted of three points.
• There is no God except Allah (SWT) who alone is worth worship. Do not make any partners of Allah (SWT) in any form. People of Makkah did not mind worshipping one God but they wanted to associate partners with Him. They, however, could not oppose Prophet Mohammad (SAS) strongly enough to advance their point of view.
• Secondly Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “I am the Messenger of Allah (SWT).” The People of Makkah did not want to accept this fact but they had no way to say to others that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) is not telling the truth since the people of Makkah had known him as Ameen, “the most honest.” Hence people of Makkah could not counteract this new message.
• Thirdly Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “There is going to be a Day of Judgment and people will have accountability of their deeds. They will be rewarded or punished according to their deeds on the Day of Judgment.” This gave the people of Mecca a platform to oppose this new message tooth and nail. The People of Makkah said to the Prophet: Al-Waqia # 47, 48
And they used to say, “When we are dead and have become dust and bones, shall we then be raised again? and our forefathers too?”
The People of Makkah not only made statements like this but they joked and made fun of this message and called the Prophet (SAS) a mad man. Allah (SWT) gave answer to their question, Al-Waqia # 49 – 56
O Mohammad (SAS), say to them that those of old time and those of later time all will be brought together on an appointed day and then those who are erring and denying the truth will eat of a tree called Zaqqum. And they will fill their bellies with that. They will also drink boiling water just like a camel drinks. This will be their welcome on the Day of Judgment.
The word means initial hospitality as soon as the guest arrives. Hence the words points out that it is only the initial treatment for them. What follows will be even more unbearable.
The people of Makkah also used to say Al-Mulk # 25
When will this Day come if you are truthful in your claim? Allah (SWT) answered that in next verse Al-Mulk # 26
O Mohammad (SAS) ! say to them, knowledge of this appointed Day is only with Allah (SWT). I am only a clear-cut warner.
The People of Makkah used to ask this question about Day of Judgment jokingly again and again. Allah (SWT) said to them, An-Naba # 4,5
Soon you will come to know about it and, again, you will soon come to know about it.
It meant that you will come to know about it at the time of the death called Sukratul Maut and in Burzikh (which is the period between the death and Day of Judgment). You will also come to know about it when you face this Day during the Judgment.
Sometimes Allah (SWT) gives very detailed answers to make us understand that it is not at all hard for Allah (SWT) to bring about this Day of Judgment. An-Naba # 6-16
Have We not made earth as a wide expanse and mountains as pegs. And created you in pairs and made sleep for your rest and made the night as covering and made the day as a means of subsistence. And have We not built over you seven strong heavens and placed therein a light of splendor. And do We not send down from the clouds water in abundance that We may produce therewith corn and vegetables and gardens of luxurious growth?
Hence Allah (SWT) saying that, if He can do all this mentioned above why can’t He bring about Day of Judgment? For example, he has granted us sleep which totally revives us. Even if somebody tries to avoid it, it will come to a person through the mercy of Allah (SWT) . After natural sleep the person will be up with more vigor and strength. If Allah (SWT) can provide such priceless bounties to mankind, generation after generation, why can’t He bring about Day of Judgment. In fact each of the items mentioned above need similar commentary. For the sake of brevity, we will proceed to review some of the scenes from the Day of the Judgment.
Prophet Mohammad (SAS) brought good tidings for mankind and also warned them about the punishment on the Day of Judgment for those who do not follow guidance of Allah (SWT). Muslims believe in the Day of Judgment even if they have not seen it. Allah (SWT) through His mercy has described many scenes of the Day of Judgment for our understanding and guidance. Let us first describe the scenes from Paradise. For example Allah (SWT) says in Surah At-Tur, # 17-20
Indeed the righteous will be in the Gardens, and in happiness enjoying the bliss which their Lord has bestowed on them and because Allah (SWT) has saved them from the hellfire. It will be said to them “Eat and drink to your fill because of your good deeds.”
They will recline with ease on thrones of dignity arranged in ranks and We will wed them with beautiful ladies with wide lovely eyes.
Similarly Allah (SWT) says in Surah Al Haqqah, # 19-24
Then he who will be given his record in the right hand will say to others with great joy, “Look here and read my record. (The secret of receiving my account in the right hand is) I always kept in mind that I will see my account.” And he will be in a life of bliss in a high garden where the fruits will be low and near (hence instantly available). “You eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent on before you in days past.”
Similarly, Allah (SWT) says about the people of Paradise in Surah
Ya Sin, # 55-58
Verily, the dwellers of the Paradise, that day, will be busy in joyful things. They and their spouses will be in groves of cool shade reclining on thrones (of dignity). They will have every fruit and they will have for them whatever they call for. Additionally, they will be honored with salam from the Lord, the most merciful.
According to this verse, when people of Paradise will have all bounties of Allah (SWT), Allah (SWT) will ask them “O my obedient servants, what else do you want?” The residents of Paradise will say “O Allah (SWT)! Thank you, we have everything.” Allah (SWT) will say to them, “Let Me give you something which is superior to all these bounties you have.” At this time they will be thrilled and honored to see Allah (SWT) and Allah (SWT) will greet them with salam.
Similarly Allah (SWT) described several scenes of The Day of Judgment which informs us about the punishment inflicted upon the wrong doers. For example Allah (SWT) says in Surah Al-Mulk # 6-10
For those who reject their Lord, their penalty is hell which is an evil destination. When they will be thrown into hell, they will hear its roaring as it boils up. It would appear to them as if it is ready to burst with rage. When any group of these disbelievers is thrown in the hell, the wardens of hell will ask them “Did no warner come to you during your life time?” They will say “Yes, indeed a warner came to us but we denied him and said Allah (SWT) did not reveal anything and you are lost in a big way. Had we listened to him and used some sense we would not have been among the dwellers in the flames.”
Allah (SWT) also says in Surah Al-Haqqah # 25-29
And he who will be given his record in the left hand will say, “I wish that my record had not been given to me and that I had never realised how my account stood. I wish that it would have been done away during the process of death. My wealth did not profit me in any way and my worldly power actually brought about my destruction.”
Allah (SWT) also describes the reasons for the punishment in hell
Al-Muddaththir # 40-48
The people of Paradise will question regarding the sinners, “What led you into hell fire?” The sinners will say, “We were not of those who prayed and we were not of those who fed the poor. We used to talk vanities with vain talkers and we used to deny the Day of Judgment till it actually came about.” Then that day no body’s intercession will profit them.
These scenes of Paradise and Hell are to serve as important reminders. The entry into paradise will not just depend on our deeds. It will only be through the Grand Mercy of Allah (SWT). I pray to Allah (SWT) to make us die as Muslims and count us among the people of Paradise.